The online gambling market has been growing steadily across Europe over the last couple of years. Britain however appears to be the most lucrative market, with gambling spending increasing sharply in 2015. The UK Gambling Commission has released the most recent figures and they suggest that Britons have spent nearly $17 billion on gambling alone.
Online Gambling Operators Save the Day
It’s been a while since the tide has changed in the favor of online casinos, but now the trend has gained traction. While the retail side of the gaming industry is in decline, online operators are thriving thanks largely to mobile gambling. Many players have made the transition from desktop computers to smart phones and tablets and this has pushed the numbers out.
UK residents are still very much interested in buying National Lottery tickets, with £3.3 billion spent in 2015. This amount is slightly larger than the £3.2 billion spent by gamblers at local betting shops and bingohalls. The numbers might look impressive, but they actually highlight a significant decline in revenue that has driven many bookies out of business. Fixed-odds betting terminals have emerged as an unexpected source of revenue for traditional bookmakers operating from brick-and-mortar venues.
The Specter of Gambling Addiction Is Looming
Online casinos, poker rooms and bookmakers are obviously thrilled with the recent numbers posted by the UK Gambling Commission. They indicate that the market share of online gambling has surged to 29% and is expected to cross a psychological threshold in 2016. Since 2011, the UK gambling industry has been growing at a steady rate and there are no indications that the trend will end anytime soon.
Those responsible with shaping the regulatory policy are equally concerned about keeping the gambling industry safe and fair. They run various projects and work closely with gambling operators, to make sure that the sensitive issue of gambling addiction is properly handled.